KING DEPOSED: Oleksandr Usyk defeats Anthony Joshua to claim world heavyweight title
Oleksandr Usyk is the new WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion of the world when, in a thrilling show of talent and nerve, he outpointed Anthony Joshua to earn a clear and unanimous decision.
His dominating win was not a shock since the undefeated Ukrainian is a former undisputed world cruiserweight champion and, before the bout, there was broad agreement among boxing’s cognoscenti that Usyk is a far more natural and talented boxer than Joshua.
The possibility of Joshua ever facing fellow Brit Tyson Fury for the undisputed championship – about which came close to fruition this summer – suddenly seems very distant.
Unlike just about every fuel station in London, Usyk simply refused to run out of gas, as Joshua failed to make his greater strength tell.
Joshua finished the fight trapped to the ropes by a barrage of punches – and that late flourish came after Usyk had already built up an insurmountable advantage on the judges’ scorecards.
After his shocking knock-out loss by Andy Ruiz Jr in New York in 2019, this setback – Joshua’s first on home soil – seemed nowhere as bizarre.
Usyk was the better artisan and fully earned his win.
There will be a re-match next year and Joshua must find a method to deciphering the elusive southpaw next time – you would not bank on that.